It seems incredible, but it has been 26 years since this columnist and nine other theater professionals and enthusiasts got together at the San Pedro Playhouse to found the Alamo Theater Arts Council (ATAC) and the Globe Awards. The intention was to recognize and celebrate achievement in the thespian arts, from acting and directing to new scripts, design and original music. I was the theater critic for the San Antonio Light at the time, and the paper agreed to be the sponsor of the seminal event. The first Globes were awarded in 1991 at the packed Playhouse, followed by a reception that went on into the night until the wee hours. I left at midnight, exhilarated but exhausted.
And here we are now, 25 years later! Under the leadership of current president Mellissa Marlowe, ATAC is preparing to celebrate the Globes’ silver anniversary with a grand Globe Show and Gala at the Empire Theatre on Oct. 25. All the details were not yet available at press time, but the event is always great fun. Excerpts from winning productions are performed throughout the evening, so it’s a good way to sample a range of plays and musicals. And let me tell you, we have a lot of talent here in our city! You really don’t need to travel to New York or Houston to see quality theater; we have it all here at much more reasonable prices.
This year, two artists who happen to be husband and wife, Rick and Diane Malone, will receive the Jasmina Wellinghoff Award for Special Contribution to the Theater. Yes, it’s named after yours truly, and I am grateful to have been honored in such a lasting way. I left the board after the first four years, happy to see that so many hard-working volunteers were willing to continue what we, the initial 10, had started with so much enthusiasm and excitement. This is my opportunity to thank them all, as well as the future boards, sponsors and judges. As Diane Malone said, there are always new generations of artists who deserve to have their work recognized. Indeed! (Tickets $20-$35, through Ticketmaster; for info, www.atac-sa.org.)
Now that I bragged about “my baby,” let me point out to you two other worthy events. The first-ever locally produced Swan Lake will be presented by Ballet San Antonio (BSA) Oct. 9-11 at the Tobin Center. The choreography is by internationally known dancemaker Ben Stevenson, and the luscious music … well, you know, by Tchaikovsky. BSA has emerged as one of the dominant companies on the local art scene, and Swan Lake is one of those “don’t miss” events, so don’t miss it! (For tickets contact tickets@ tobincenter.org.)
Another event that San Antonio should be proud of is the Flamenco Festival, which is scheduled for the same weekend, Oct. 9-11, at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Founded by flamenco aficionado Joel Settles — now director of programming at the center — the sixth annual fest will showcase groups and solo artists from San Antonio and Austin who specialize in this fiery Andalusian dance genre (www.guadalupeculturalarts.org).
Ballet and flamenco on the same weekend? I say, go for it! I’ll be there.
By Jasmina Wellinghoff